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Afrocentric home decor

Updated on March 6, 2014

The Afrocentric home decor gained popularity at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, there was an upsurge in interest in everything unknown and exotic. It should be noted that Europe had got acquainted with the art of African people much earlier, in the days of colonization. The Europeans had had such an opportunity thanks to immigrants who had brought exotic souvenirs to their homeland.

The African style in interior is extremely vigorous and lively. In so many words, this style is steeped in the rays of the sun and buried in the halo of mysticism.


Before falling on the interior design in African style, it is necessary to devote time to learning the culture and symbols of this continent. The case is that even everyday things have their own power and are the integral part of faiths in African art. It is needless to speak about regalia, which we most often perceive as decorative.

Every article is endued with special particular significance, also being a part of a magic ritual. Sacral symbols can be ciphered in the ornament of an ordinary cup. If a person is profane and not familiar with the subject, he can be severely mistaken and decorate his house with ‘incorrect’ masks and figures.

The basic features of the interior in African style are distinctiveness, rough finish, impetuosity, bright style, almost childlike simplicity, spontaneity, natural minimalism and mysteriousness. The following natural materials are applied in the process of interior decoration:

  • wood
  • stone
  • ceramics
  • ivory
  • clay
  • natural fabrics

We also use a large number of specific decorative subjects like:

  • figures of divinities and animals
  • authentic masks of shamans and chieftains
  • tortoiseshells
  • feathers of overseas birds
  • tusks and horns of animals from distant continents


We most often use rattan cane, bamboo and palm bark furniture. In addition, we apply black wood furniture. Straw, synthetic and leather wraps are applied as decorative elements. The blinds with auriphrygiate figures of wild animals near linen curtains look wonderful on the windows. If necessary, it is possible to do without blinds at all. Organza in the form of net will act as a curtain.

Original self-coloured and brightly painted floor standing lamps also attract attention and the candles spice the whole interior up. The stairway in the form of tree bole with stairs looking like limbs will be the attention grabber of every private house.


The colour palette of African style is extremely hot and bright. It is represented by terracotta, red, orange, yellow, brown, sandy and white colours. Black, blue and grey strokes are also allowed. It is desirable to paint the walls. There can sometimes be problems with the imitation of reptile leathers and petroglyphic drawings.

The floor should most often be parquet and not varnished. Another variant lies in using heated porcelain granite in the form of processed plates. A good idea is to imitate the skins of zebra, leopards and tigers on the floors and walls. It is also opportune to hang wooden or heather carpets as well as the ones ornamented in African style.

The furniture ought to be geometric and quite unhandy. Soft furniture should be upholstered with cotton and linen fabrics. By the way, the sofa is not an obligatory interior element. It is possible to sit on pillows artistically scattered on the floor in a disorderly manner. The labourers, usually fauteuils, will also perfectly add the interior design.

It is also possible to use large wooden chests upholstered with either camel or buffalo skin in combination with decoration from brass and copper. It is also opportune to apply small caskets with ornamental carving, floor standing and table bowls as well as decorative loamy cookware.


Goatskin moulded drums in the forms of cups named djembe will not be odd as well. There is also an opportunity to add the interior with natural exotic flowers currently sold at all flower shops. The dragon tree is in the heaviest demand. It is widely known as ‘the bamboo of happiness’.

The opponents of Afrocentric home decor consider this style too original and simplified to primitivism. The proponents try to be closer to original African nature, learn its secret and get vital power.

Afrocentric decor samples

© 2014 Denis

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